Pablo Sandoval to begin rehab assignment Friday at Single-A

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The Giants’ official Twitter feed passed along some good news this evening on third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has been sidelined since late April due to a fractured right hamate bone.

“Kung Fu Panda” is going to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday with Single-A San Jose. He will play two games there before moving along to Triple-A Fresno for another three to five games.

If all goes well, Sandoval could make his way back to the Giants’ starting lineup by next weekend.

The 24-year-old was batting .313/.374/.530 with 14 RBI through his first 91 plate appearances this season. With a healthier self and a completely revamped fitness plan, he should have no trouble getting back on track.

Giants starter Barry Zito is also ready to begin a rehab assignment. He’ll start Monday at Single-A San Jose.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.